Barcelona owes much of its architectural charm to one man – Antoni Gaudí. He designed numerous buildings – from the famous Sagrada Familia and Casa Milá to some lesser-known ones.
Even if you’ve heard nothing about the architect and his peculiar style, you’ll recognize a Gaudi building when you see one. They’re unmistakable.
In this article, you’ll find the 11 best Gaudi buildings in Barcelona.
Some of the architect’s masterpieces were a collaboration with other talented designers. And many of the best Gaudi works were commissioned by the Spanish entrepreneur Count Eusebi Güell, hence carry his name.
Let’s dive right in!
1. Sagrada Familia – the Unfinished Masterpiece
The imposing Sagrada Familia tops the list of the best Gaudi buildings in Barcelona. The unique UNESCO Heritage Site attracts close to 3,000,000 visitors yearly. However, don’t make the mistake to just marvel at its staggering exterior.
Get a ticket and explore Sagrada Familia’s astounding interior. There, you’ll find the true genius of Gaudí. The amount of detail on every single thing – from stained glass through columns to altars – is otherworldly.
If you have time, get a ticket to the top, too. The roof is equally breathtaking.
Started in 1892, the construction epitomizes Gothic and Art Nouveau forms, as well as Gaudi’s personal geometric style.
1926 was an unfortunate moment for the whole city as the architect was run down by a tram near the basilica. He was buried in the basilica’s crypt.
Still in construction, Sagrada Familia is expected to be completed in 2026 to honor the centenary of Antoni Gaudí’s death.
On November 2010, Pope Benedict XVI consecrated it as a sacred place, so if you’re religious, you have another reason to visit Sagrada Familia.
Neighborhood: Sagrada Família
Address: Carrer de Mallorca, 401, 08013 Barcelona, Spain
2. Casa Milá (La Pedrera) – A Sculpture or a Building?
Arguably the most bizarre yet unique house of the architect, Casa Milá is among the top Gaudi buildings. In 1984, UNESCO recognized this modernist Barcelona building as a World Heritage Site.
Also known as La Pedrera or The Stone Quarry, it’s more a sculpture than a building. Erected between 1906 and 1912, Casa Milá was the architect’s last private residence.
Due to its constructional and functional innovations, and decorative and ornamental solutions, the building is Gaudi’s most emblematic work of civic architecture.
Casa Mila’s façade features forms that are drawn from nature – from forged iron balconies to undulating stone.
The cherry on top is the drop-dead gorgeous roof terrace where Gaudi unleashed his real genius. There, you’ll admire magnificently decorated vents, chimneys, and skylights, which mimic a city skyline.
From bottom to top, La Pedrera is a spectacular work of art. We loved our visit, and so would you.
Address: Passeig de Gràcia, 92, 08008 Barcelona, Spain
3. Casa Vicens – A Striking Combination of Hispanic and Oriental Traditions
Casa Vicens is the first house, which Antoni Gaudí designed.
A reflection of the Neo-Mudéjar architecture, it incorporates oriental and neoclassical styles. Gaudi broke away from traditional architecture and used a wide range of different materials, including iron, glass, concrete, and ceramic tiles.
Casa Vicens is also the first house where the architect used an oriental style, combining Hispanic and Arabic traditions.
Bare stone, coarse red bricks, as well as colored ceramic tiles in both floral and checkerboard patterns were all part of the construction, which began in January 1883.
Nowadays a museum, Casa Vicens is not only among the best Gaudi buildings in Barcelona but also one of the first Art Nouveau constructions in the world.
Bear in mind that the house is one of Barcelona’s most visited museums. Thus, it’s advisable to book your visit in advance.
Address: Carrer de les Carolines, 20, 08012 Barcelona, Spain
4. Casa Batlló – A Dazzling Fusion of Colors and Details
In 1877, when the house was built, Casa Batlló was a classical building without any remarkable features.
In 1900, Josep Batlló bought the house. Its design made it undesirable to buyers, but the Batlló family decided to purchase the building because of its central location.
In 1904, Mr. Batlló commissioned Gaudí to redesign his home entirely.
The result? A dazzling spectrum of colors and details!
As a typical Modernism (Catalan Art Nouveau) example, Casa Batlló incorporates stone, forged iron, ceramics, and colorful mosaics (better known as trencadís).
Standing on Passeig de Gràcia, the house initially received stern criticism for its design that broke all traditions. Despite that, in 1906 it received the award “One of the best three buildings of the year”.
Due to its skeletal outlook, the building also goes by its local name – Casa dels Ossos (House of Bones). You’ll notice some of the house’s bone-like columns on its façade.
Address: Passeig de Gràcia, 43, 08007 Barcelona, Spain
5. Park Güell – A Walk in Fairytale Land
A public park system of verdant gardens and peculiar architectonic elements, the gorgeous Park Güell sits on Carmel Hill. From there, a breathtaking vista of Barcelona unfolds.
The park was constructed between 1900 and 1914. Today, it’s one of the many UNESCO Heritage Sites in Barcelona. The garden complex is also home to Gaudí’s personal house.
Park Güell is an epitome of the architect’s artistic plenitude. During that time (his naturalist phase) he made use of intricate organic shapes.
Designing the park, Gaudi unveiled all his architectonic wonders, producing forms that dazzle visitors with their nature-inspired beauty.
Another reason for the park’s gorgeousness is the fact that it sits in a natural park. Before construction took place, the site was a rocky hill with few trees and little vegetation.
Gaudí preserved the natural look of the park by using local stone in a way that integrates everything very well into the landscapes.
We highly recommend visiting the big cross at Park Güell’s highest point because it offers the best view of Barcelona and its bay.
While strolling the peculiar roads of the park, you might notice parrots, hummingbird hawk-moths, and other birds.
Of all Gaudí buildings in Barcelona, Park Güell might be the most impressive of all.
Neighborhood: La Salut
Address: Carretera del Carmel, 23, 08024 Barcelona
6. Casa Calvet – An Embodiment of Catalan Baroque
Both scholars and architects believe this is Gaudi’s most conventional masterpiece. That’s mainly because Casa Calvet had to be tucked in between some older structures in one of Barcelona’s most prestigious neighborhoods.
As one of the earliest Gaudi buildings in Barcelona, Casa Calvet is more conservative than modernistic. Despite that, there are elements that speak of Gaudi’s Art Nouveau style.
For instance, the façade terminates with a curve, while the attic balconies look like they’ve been taken out of a fairy tale.
Construction took place in 1898-1900. Casa Calvet was built from stone that was quarried straight from Montjuïc. Splendid wrought iron adorns the house’s peculiar balconies.
Nowadays, the ground floor is home to a restaurant where you can marvel at arches with vine-shaped reliefs, granite Solomonic columns, and the typical Catalan ceiling.
At the roof, you can find crosses made from bent iron that are surrounded by stone ornaments.
The crème-de-la-crème are the three Calvet saints – Saint Peter the Martyr (namesake of Sant Pere Màrtir – the house’s owner), Saint Genesius of Arles, and Saint Genesius of Rome.
Address: Carrer Sant Marc, 57, 08253 Barcelona, Spain
7. Church of Colònia Güell – Not Your Regular Church
The church also goes by its Catalan name Cripta de la Colònia Güell and is also known as Gaudí’s Crypt.
Started as a place of worship and still unfinished, it sits on a hillside in the suburb of Santa Coloma de Cervelló near Barcelona. So, if you want to leave the city limits but don’t have enough time to add a day trip from Barcelona to your itinerary, visiting the Church of Colònia Güell is a nice alternative.
It’s considered one of the best Gaudi buildings, and it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The church’s crypt is the only portion that was fully completed. What’s striking about it is that since construction was on a hillside, the crypt was partially built below ground. And even better – it looks like it belongs to the surrounding nature.
As you can imagine, there’s not a lot of light entering as it’s partially an underground structure. However, there are 22 lead, stained glass windows that let some colorful lighting inside.
While the chapel remains incomplete, it’s a crucial aspect of the Church of Colònia Güell because its design resembles that of La Sagrada Familia.
Construction commenced in 1908, but Gaudi halted it due to the demise of Count Güell.
If you like religious buildings, then the Church of Colònia Güell should be one of the must-visit Gaudi buildings on your list.
Neighborhood: Santa Coloma de Cervelló
Address: Carrer Claudi Güell, 08690 La Colònia Güell, Barcelona, Spain
8. Palau Güell – Domestic Architecture in an Art Nouveau Setting
Gaudi designed and built Palau Güell (Güell Palace) for the industrial magnate Eusebi Güell in 1886-1888.
The mansion is a fantastic combination of old-fashioned magnificence and conventional modernism.
You’ll find the palace tucked into a tiny street in the El Raval neighborhood which is one of the best areas to stay in Barcelona.
In 1969, the Spanish government declared it a historical-artistic monument, while in 1984, UNESCO added it to its World Heritage Sites list.
These recognitions are no wonder, considering the amount of detail and features Palau Güell prides itself on.
As one of the best Gaudi buildings in Barcelona, it’s noteworthy for its creative conception of light and space. For the construction, the genius architect created brilliant expressive forms using only traditional materials like wood, stone, glass, pottery, and wrought iron.
Güell Palace contains the spirit of Gaudí’s later masterpieces and has a central role in understanding his peculiar architectural style.
We highly recommend visiting this building as a superb example of domestic architecture in an Art Nouveau setting.
Neighborhood: El Raval
Address: Carrer Nou de la Rambla, 3-5, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
9. Torre Bellesguard (Casa Figueres) – A Truly Beautiful View
If you’re a fan of simplistic buildings, the Torre Bellesguard, also known as Casa Figueres, will surely strike your fancy. Antoni Gaudi erected the building between 1900 and 1909 mainly from bricks and stones.
The exterior follows a more neogothic style in line with the original medieval castle (Martin I) that once existed at the site.
The estate’s interior follows a more modernist design where Gaudi’s true naturalistic style shines in all its glory. Colored glass, white plastered walls, and iron details all flirt with each other inside Casa Figueres.
Once you enter, pay particular attention to the ceilings as many of them represent the so-called Catalan arch, which uses a structure of overlaid layers of bricks.
Gaudi not only superbly blended Neogothic style and Art Nouveau. He also managed to restore the medieval palace’s remnants that are nowadays part of the mansion’s grounds.
At the garden’s entrance, you can admire the Crown of Aragon’s shield that features a rising sun.
In Catalan, the name Bellesguard means “A Beautiful View”. You’ll totally agree with this name once you’ve seen the dazzling panorama of Barcelona from the estate.
Neighborhood: Sant Gervasi – La Bonanova
Address: Carrer de Bellesguard, 20, 08022 Barcelona, Spain
10. Güell Pavilions – A Spectacular Example of Modernista Architecture
Count Eusebi Güell had a mansion in the Les Corts district of a small town, which is now part of Barcelona. The complex of buildings known as Güell Pavilions (Catalan: Pavellons Güell) needed redesigning. The count commissioned that task to Gaudi.
His task was not only to remodel the estate but also to construct a perimeter wall with gates. Gaudi’s proposal was Orientalist design with Mudejar Art hints. The plan consisted of an ashlar wall, along with several gates.
The most impressive part of Finca Güell (another name for the Pavilions) is the main gate – a wrought-iron grille in the form of a dragon. The mind-blowing entrance represents Ladon, the guardian dragon of the Garden of Hesperides. Hercules defeated Ladon as part of his twelve labors.
As one of the most captivating Gaudi buildings in Barcelona, Pavellons Güell consist of a stable, gatehouses, and a longeing ring.
The architect also helped with the design of the mansion’s gardens. There, he constructed a pergola and two fountains, and planted Mediterranean species, including pines, palms, magnolias, and eucalyptus.
You can find the “Fountain of Hercules” near the Palau Reial de Pedralbes.
Address: Av. de Pedralbes, 7, 08034 Barcelona, Spain
11. Cascada Fountain at Parc de la Ciutadella – A Refreshing Getaway from the Heat
Cascada Fountain cozily sits in one of Barcelona’s most picturesque parks – Parc de la Ciutadella (Citadel Park).
In the design and construction of Cascada Monumental, Gaudi had a partial role.
At the time – at the beginning of the 1880s – he was working at the studio of Josep Fontserè. Gaudi corrected a task that had been given to another student – designing the grand new fountain’s water tank and hydraulics.
Besides two stone medallions with lizards in the fountain’s upper section, Gaudi’s role was mainly behind scenes. Cascada Monumental loosely resembles the Trevi Fountain in Rome. Many Catalan artists also helped with the fountain’s design, which consists of dragons, watersprouts, and stone-carved clams.
The Cascada Fountain’s highlight is the gold statue of Aurora (in Roman mythology, she represents dawn) riding four horses.
Whether you’re just passing by or you’re headed somewhere else, the fountain’s splendor will stop you in your tracks.
We highly recommend visiting the spot as the entrance to the Parc de la Ciutadella is free.
Neighborhood: La Ribera
Address: Parc de la Ciutadella, Passeig de Picasso, 21, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
The Best Gaudi Buildings in Barcelona, Spain – Which One Is Your Favorite?
There you have it – the 11 best Gaudi buildings in Barcelona. Each of these drop-dead beautiful creations impresses with its own charm and peculiarity.
We’re sure you’ll find at least a few to satisfy your architectural cravings.
Now, tell us:
Which Gaudi buildings are you visiting when you go to Barcelona?
If you’ve already been to the magnificent Catalan capital, which ones have you already marveled at?